Whether you like it or not, we all have to wear clothes. And whether you like it or not, the fashion industry is one of the most impactful in the world’s economy and the environment. From pompous attires made-to-measure to our newly addiction for fast fashion, this industry has come a long way and only now we are seeing the true cost of our love to dress up.
This week I decided to do something I’ve never done in this blog: an interview. If you like this format and want to see more of it in the future, let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your opinion.
Sustainable Fashion with Stylist Fernando Lemos
My guest this week is a dear friend who recently migrated from Brazil and has worked as a fashion designer for one of the main fashion retails in his home country. He explains a little more about the terms and the choices we can make in our everyday life to help reduce our impact in an ever-growing industry.
EYG: What is sustainable fashion?
Luiz Fernando Lemos: ‘Sustainable fashion is all about choice. Thinking more about what are you buying, being curious and knowing more about the garment that you are buying. If the fabric is not good enough, you’ll have to buy more clothes in a short period of time and that’s not really sustainable. Or even if it’s a good fabric, how is this raw material impacting the environment or in the workers lives until throughout the whole process? Fashion is the second most polluting industry, just second to oil and is our choice be sustainable or not.’
EYG: How is sustainable fashion changing the fashion industry?
LFL: ‘Customers are more curious about what they are consuming. Questioning about where their clothes are from, who made it, and if they really want it. With this, the Fashion Industry is aware and have their eyes on it.
Transforming all the fashion chain, from the use of materials which are usually not eco-friendly to fashion editorials is happening slowly, but it’s a start. The fashion industry is picking up the trends and changing a little bit their collections, becoming more percipient to their public needs.
On the other hand, we [the public] have a lot of information online about it. Mainstream media is talking about it all the time, showing openly how the system works, making people more conscious about their choices. An example is the documentary “The True Cost” from 2015 (available on Netflix), revealing the serious situation of the garment industry.’
EYG: How can a brand be more sustainable?
LFL: ‘As some of us know, we have to do something to be less impactful on the environment, now new brands (and some of the old ones) are paying more attention to the issue and trying to find a way to make profits and at the same time as being eco-friendly.
From the choice of components, like organic cotton, dying garments with non chemicals elements, launching less collections per year to reusing fabric scraps to produce new clothes and accessories. For instance, in Brazil, the brand “Insecta Shoes” do exactly this. They use excess clothes and prints that factories don’t use anymore and plastic bottles to create new shoes and bags .
Moreover, we have to have more clearly thoughts when we are shopping. Do we really need another t-shirt? Or another pair of jeans? Let’s think more about the garments we are buying! Who sewed them? Who packaged and transported?
And are you really paying $3 for you t-shirt? There’s gotta be something wrong, right?’
EYG: How can we be more sustainable in our everyday choices?
LFL: ‘Every day, everywhere people are talking about sustainability. Even in the supermarkets, it’s affecting all types of people and in all social classes, we have a choice to buy an eco-bag instead of using a plastic bags. It is a start!
The simple unconscious things that we do everyday, like having a coffee in a disposable cup or commuting by car everyday, can change the environment around you.
Rather than using plastic straws, we can use bamboo, metal or glass straws that are reusable. Or even, commuting on public transport or carpooling with more people that live close by.
There are other people around you with the same interests. Just Google it, find a Facebook group or an apps and you’ll find that your are not alone.’
Thank you so much Luiz Fernando Lemos for his insights in the industry and helpful tips to make sustainable changes in our daily lives.
Do you care where your clothes come from? Or do you want to know more about how to wear sustainable brands? How do you shop more consciously?
Peace & Love,